The Characteristics of an Effective Nonprofit Leader

Integrate the Key Character Qualities Necessary to Become an Effective Nonprofit Leader into Your Personal Leadership Style

In this workshop we will address the question ‘What are the characteristics of an effective nonprofit leader?’ You will think about people (both alive and no longer living) whom you consider to be leaders, and the qualities of their character that cause others to relate to them as leaders. CSL will share the results of its 15+ years of research into what characterizes effective nonprofit leadership, including its review of surveys of tens of thousands of employees around the world from the nonprofit, private and public sectors who have been asked what they look for in their leaders. You will try to find answers to the questions leaders ask themselves everyday: How do I inspire and motivate my staff? How do I build trust with my staff, Board, funders and clients? How can I lead with empathy and emotional intelligence so my employees feel valued, inspired and committed to their work? CSL will also share the Three Spheres of Effective Leadership – a model that distills the three most important leadership qualities and how you can leverage their interactive nature and exercise them daily to become an effective leader.


Workshop Impact

This leadership workshop will have a tremendous positive impact on:

  • The capacity of your organization to raise funds for its programs
  • The passion, commitment and effectiveness of your staff
  • The relevance and usefulness of your board

Some specific results you can expect to see are:

  1. More honesty and authenticity among executive and program staff, yielding improved work communication, more teamwork and better results
  2. An enhanced action-oriented, ‘can-do’ culture where staff believe in their capacity to innovate, make things happen and bring in tremendous results for the organization
  3. An organizational culture of continuous quality improvement and organizational learning that facilitates program delivery breakthroughs, continuous innovation and high-level service for your clients
  4. Improved internal communication between and within departments
  5. Staff with a stronger connection to the organizational mission willing to work harder without supervision
  6. More patience among executive staff and improved managerial capacity to handle ‘difficult employees’
  7. Many more staff who connect with the passion of the leader and are willing to work hard toward a mission they easily understand and believe in
  8. A higher level of trust, accountability and honest reporting throughout the organization; More staff meet work deadlines and honor their commitments to supervisors and vice-versa
  9. Executive and program staff who are more resilient, ‘bounce back’ from challenges more quickly and maintain their focus on the organizational mission and goals


Contact CSL
to learn how we can customize this and other Leadership Workshops for your nonprofit.

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  • Testimonials

    The workshop has really helped me to identify my blind spots. After this conference I will have an inclusive decision-making style. I will avoid the ‘I know it all’ attitude.

    — Emmanuel Malubila, Executive Director, Zambia Ex-Prisoners Rehabilitation and Counseling

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    Tony was the perfect facilitator as he had walked the path I am on…I need more time for myself, I need to find balance and hone skills for my staff. I can learn a lot from Tony’s calmness and integrity.

    — Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Executive Director, YouthBuild

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    Tony Silard and the Center for Social Leadership are indeed transforming the way nonprofit leaders lead.

    — Clark Byron, D.Min., Coalition for Independence (CFI)

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    CSL's nonprofit leadership training helped me fully appreciate my inner voice. It has allowed my philosophy of leadership to bloom!

    — Holly M. Gartmayer-DeYoung, Healthcare Executive on Sabbatical, Addison, ME

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    The conference affected my philosophy of leadership. It taught me not to be a dictator, but to have vision and be a listener.

    — Linah Nkhonjela, Executive Director, Girls Brigade of Zambia

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    Thank you Tony for helping me find my passion! Forty years of not knowing and to finally have an “ah ha” moment!

    — Pam Smartt, Connections for Life

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    Tony’s sessions were practical, relevant, thought-provoking and clear. I would have enjoyed more time with him.

    — Shaheen Mistri, Executive Director, Akanksha, Bombay, India

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    Tony has a way of being that is authentic and welcoming. His passion and commitment was evident. The approach was powerfully and passionately delivered…The retreat absolutely exceeded my expectations. PASSION and TRUTH are contagious! Tony is an example of a confident, compassionate, gentle person who has made a difference in this world. He is very special and a treasure.

    — Sharon Gallagher, Board Member, American Red Cross

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    This was a 100% well-prepared, well-carried out, and well-received conference. I felt like the speakers knew exactly what our group's struggles were in maintaining and growing a nonprofit.

    — Sara Ortega, Mira Scholars Foundation, San Francisco, CA

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    Tony's use of examples and stories always help clarify/illustrate his points – and keep the discussion interesting. What I find most important, is that Tony includes stories from his personal experiences and feelings. To me, that adds a level of authenticity and vulnerability that I see as a commitment to teaching and generosity that is unique.

    — J. Kevin Jones, Jr., Deputy Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

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    I think Tony’s approach was good because we had the chance to discuss the different characteristics of a leader….He made us realize that we all have characteristics of leaders in us.

    — Patty Santucci, Outreach Worker, Youth Developer, The Latin American Youth Center

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    I believe that many of us learned a lot more than we anticipated we would. Tony’s workshops fueled conversations that continued through dinners, evening walks on the beach, and late night groups who gathered around wine and intense conversation....Tony helped us regain our focus and renew our passion and vision!

    — Janna Genovese, Executive Director, Womenspace Unlimited

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    I see myself continuing as an NGO leader because of my skills that I now have after this conference. Tony’s 15 Principles will help me in leading my organization to achieve its vision, mission and goals…This conference was really helpful and it should be organized again for other NGO Directors.

    — Brian Kayongo, Director, Adolescent Reproductive Health Advocates, Zambia

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    The retreat surpassed my expectations! I want more training from Tony, and I’ll even drive for hours to it!

    — Andra Christensen, Board Member, The Discovery Center

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    This conference has dramatically broadened and encouraged my plans for my nonprofit enterprise... Thank you. A life-changing experience.

    — Art Shields, Lifesavers World Inc.

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    I have worked with 5 national organizations and have had the opportunity to participate in several leadership development programs, all valuable, but none of which compared to the quality and depth of ECPNL...The quality of the presenters was second to none...I highly recommend this Program for nonprofit leaders at any stage of their career.

    — Joe Elmore, CAWA Director,
 Strategic Development National Outreach – MS Gulf, Coast
Hurricane Katrina Recovery

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    I love Tony’s passion for his topic! I also am very inspired by how he merges many cultural philosophies….I like how he makes leadership a ‘concrete’ idea…I wish the retreat had been longer.

    — Michelle Chun-Tuck, The Fresno Regional Foundation’s Nonprofit Advancement Center

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